What do photographers actually do

10 tips for beginners in photography

Dear photographers, hobby photographers and everyone else. We are not professionally trained photographers. We have been taking photos for about 10 years, have taken some photography courses and taught ourselves everything else. However, classic training is not on our résumé.

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Hey We are Jenny & Basti

We are the founders of 22places, the 22places online photography course and the cameral love online shop. 22places is your starting point for helpful travel tips and easy-to-understand photo tips - independent and above all: always honest.

We are the founders of 22places - your contact point for helpful travel tips and easy-to-understand photo tips - independent, authentic and above all: always honest. Just learn to take pictures in our online photography course and browse our cameral love online shop.

Learn more about us!

Thankfully, that's not necessary to take professional photos. We have written down for you what we consider important and what has initially helped us.

If you really feel like learning to take photos in order to take better photos in a short time, then we recommend our online photography course.

In this we have written down all the knowledge you need to take good photos and to know your camera inside out.

We have also shot 40 explanatory videos for you, in which we explain the whole thing to you again in front of the camera.

But now let's continue here with our personal tips.

Read our other photo tips as well

# 1 The camera doesn't take the photo

A good camera doesn't make a good photographer. A great motif doesn't suddenly yell “Here I am!” Just because you suddenly walk past it with a 5000 Euro camera.

The important thing is not the quality of the camera, but an eye for good subjects and a basic understanding of the functions of your camera.

Of course, in some situations it is easier to have a “good” camera with you. We had to z. Take photos, for example, with a Nikon D40 incl. Kit lens in poor light with a very high ISO so as not to blur the image without a tripod. Nevertheless, the camera was used with great pleasure for a long time.

But there is always a moment when your own demands are simply too high for an entry-level model. Before starting our first six-month trip to Southeast Asia, we switched to the Sony Alpha 6000 system camera.

Of course you will notice a difference in quality. Sure, a good professional camera makes it easier to take good photos, of course. But a bad picture remains just a bad picture with the Sony Alpha.

So, don't let the quality of your camera influence your creativity and skills.

# 2 Your own style

When we walk towards a rusty door handle covered with moss with a camera at the ready, beaming with joy, you might think we have lost our minds.

Old, broken and rotten things - that's our thing. Jenny always calls it "The Beauty of Decay", that sounds a little nicer. We think it's important that you find your own style and find out for yourself what you prefer to photograph.

And you can only find out if you go outside and, ideally, have your camera with you.

If you like to take pictures of dog poo, that's ok and then people are welcome to look askance.

It is certainly a funny picture when you see someone beaming with joy and walking towards a dog poop. But hey, why not.

# 3 Motifs are everywhere

You don't have to drive far to take great photos - even if it is even more fun far away.

Motifs are just everywhere. If you look up from the monitor at that moment, you have tons of motifs right in front of your nose. They are just so commonplace that you don't recognize them as motives.

Just take the following steps: take 30 minutes of your time and only take photos within your own four walls. The next step is to take your street. You are sure to pass totally ingenious motifs every day.

You don't care enough about the environment that is closest to you. We must have walked past this graffiti wall hundreds of times before we saw it as a great motif.

# 4 Without a prime lens, we're not going anywhere

We love to take photos with a prime lens. Even on our travels, we always have a fixed focal length in our luggage. We are currently shooting with a 35mm prime lens from Tamron.

Taking pictures with a prime lens is really a great experience. So you are much closer to your motifs, because you have to move towards the motif from time to time.

No zoom, no comfortably standing on the other side of the street while I photograph my subject across the street. Try it out!

If you don't have a prime lens yet, put it at the top of your wish list. Especially great for portraits!

Here you can find more information and reviews about our prime lens. But if you don't want to get one, force yourself not to use your zoom.

Also read our article on the benefits of a prime lens

# 5 Light is your friend, not your enemy

As a rule, you should make sure that you have the light source in your back and that your subject is well lit.

Light and shadow are great tools for taking super interesting photos. We do z. B. I love backlit shots.

Just break the rules, take pictures against the sun or use the light to create shadows. The picture at the main train station would only be half as interesting without a shadow.

# 6 One motive, many options

The picture here was taken in Hamburg on the ferry from Altona to the Landungsbrücken. Why didn't Jenny take a picture of the view of Hamburg? The answer ist quite easy:

She just couldn't get through to the front of the railing because we were behind in the queue for the ferry. So, we had to look for another motif.

Be creative and don't always pay attention to the obvious. And always have someone with you who you can put your own sunglasses on in an emergency.

# 7 image editing

So no photo here. We don't like photo editing. And even less if you can tell at first glance that the pictures have been edited.

Now we'd be lying if we said we didn't edit our pictures. We take photos in RAW format, so they still need processing afterwards and still have to be "developed", so to speak.

We organize and edit our photos in Lightroom and develop each photo to reflect reality. In our online photo course, Basti also explains our workflow in Lightroom to you.

But if you are familiar with Lightroom or with image processing, you will immediately recognize when an image has been over-processed. In case of doubt, anyone who is not familiar with image processing will actually recognize this. Because not infrequently, the pictures are really disfigured beyond recognition.

As you can see, we get really in a bad mood on the subject. Most of all, it is sad to see how photos are blighted.

Where we also get in a bad mood is when we hear someone say "Oh, never mind, I'll just work on that later" or something like "I'll just retouch it out later!".

Of course, it's all a matter of taste and we don't want to forbid anyone to edit photos. Correct image editing is important, but too much is dangerous!

# 8 Travel & photography are best friends

We'd say that traveling and photography are our greatest passions. How lucky we are that the two can be brilliantly combined. That's why we take our cameras with us everywhere. And that's exactly what we advise you to do.

A system camera has the advantage that it is relatively small and light. So we don't mind just tossing it into the shoulder bag - naturally protected in a camera wrap (by the way, it's the best invention ever!).

Not taking your camera with you is like taking an umbrella. If you are not sure if it is raining and you don’t bring an umbrella - then it’s definitely raining!

If you don't take your camera with you because you think you won't find a great subject anyway, you're guaranteed to get annoyed afterwards. So always pack your camera. You never know if you will suddenly have the motive of your life in front of your nose. Better safe than sorry.

So that you don't always have to walk around with a boring camera backpack or a boring camera bag, take a look at our article on the topic:

Stylish photo bags: our favorites


# 9 Rather it rustles than it wobbles

On the matter of photosensitivity. Yes, that is such a thing. We often reached our limits with the Nikon D40. B. when visiting the Teufelsberg.

The weather was rather modest and therefore rather dark. Without a tripod you have no choice but to increase the ISO sensitivity.

We don't think that's a bad thing in most situations. The noise in the picture often makes the picture more interesting than if it were "clear".

All images that we take with a high ISO are photographed in black and white. We think it doesn't go well with color photographs.

With black-and-white pictures, there is often the final, ultimate touch on the photo. But that's probably all a matter of taste.

But we think rushing black and white photography sounds intoxicating just because of the name.

# 10 Nothing works without fun

The last point is actually the most important. Have fun! The route is the goal. Tip-top pictures do not always have to be taken on a photo tour.

Just don't worry about not finding your photos super great afterwards. Then the fun is lost in the matter. With every photo that you take, you get a little better. So stay tuned and have a lot of fun.

Do you have any questions?

Do you have any questions or do you want to get rid of something? We look forward to your comment!